Fallen Splendor

by Jeff Johnson

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about

"When I look at you and you look at me we only see the skin.
If we could look inside, I bet we'd find a searcher there within."

Introduction by Reed Jolley –

The eighteenth century English poet William Blake lamented that people of his age were in the habit of seeing "with but not through the eye." Could a better description be given our age? We "watch" a particular space shuttle explode, a South African Black being beaten, a Filipino riot, an Ethiopian starve ... but what do we see? These, and a thousand other images, flood our psyche like the waters of a broken dam. It is a grand irony that while we are unable to integrate this cornucopia of data we have an increasing appetite for more. More "news," more replays, more information.

The beat goes on. Computers "crunch" everything in their reach. The deficit grows while condominiums shrink into "condos." Yuppies celebrate life in a new SAAB and wonder how much better life would be in a Mercedes. While we "watch" the "world going 'round" (remember the fool on the hill?) we hunger for something other than cruelty and banality.

At times our empty hearts distract us even from the plethora of our distractions. In our "quiet desperation" we realize that we "look" but rarely do we "see." The distinction is subtle but it allows us to catch a glimpse of our place in the universe. What we see is not what we get. We were created for something greater than fast-foods. Muzak and astro-turf. Our inner longings are fulfilled in the one who made us. Any approach to life, any effort to make sense of the cosmos, any attempt at splendor aside from the reality of God is fallen indeed.

Featuring –
Jeff Johnson: Keys & voice
Sandy Simpson: Electric guitars & keys
Mark Schulman: Drums
David Friesen: Oregon bass
Roger Hadley: Bells & cymbals
Dave Hagelganz: Tenor saxophone
Rick Crittenden: Bass
Paul Chasman: Acoustic guitar
Brian Willis: Drums

Music Review –

Fallen Splendor is more than 50 minutes of the most articulate, intriguing and beautiful music on CD today. – NewSound

credits

released July 13, 2015

Produced, engineered & mixed by Jeff Johnson & Sandy Simpson at The Ark / Tigard, Oregon.

Sound effects recorded on location by Ark Mobile.

Mastered by John Golden Mastering
www.goldenmastering.com

℗ 1986 Ark Records, Inc. / ArkMusic
Music & lyrics by Jeff Johnson except "Poem" from a poem by Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni (1475 - 1564)
© 1986 Sola Scriptura Songs (BMI)
Administered by musicservices.org)

Cover art by David & Kathy Hastings © 1986

With much gratitude to Susie, Sandy, David & Kathy, & Gerald Blalock.

AKD-5475

"Fallen Splendor" is also available on iTunes and Amazon.

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Jeff Johnson

ArkMusic recording artist, composer, producer, and Selah worship leader has released numerous solo recordings along with collaborations with Irish flutist, Brian Dunning inspired by Stephen Lawhead's novels and guitarist, Phil Keaggy. View Jeff's complete discography here: www.selahservice.com/2015/05/jeff-johnsons-arkmusic-discography/ ... more

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Track Name: Looking For God (Using A Spotlight)
Looking For God (Using A Spotlight)
By Jeff Johnson

He's got it all hooked up,
He's gonna plug it in.
He's got it pointed up to look for God again.
So he turns it on and he scans the skies and he searches everywhere.
And he spends his life 'til the day he dies believing someone's there.

He's rented office space up in a satellite.
He's got a stronger bulb and unobstructed site.
So he turns it on and he scans the skies and he searches everywhere.
And he spends his life 'til the day he dies believing someone's there.

Looking for God using a spotlight ...

Back on the earth below we're working at our jobs,
No time to scan the skies, but time to realize,
That when I look at you and you look at me, we only see the skin.
If we could look inside, I bet we'd find a searcher there within ...

Looking for God using a spotlight.
Track Name: Old Germany
Old Germany
By Jeff Johnson
Dinkelsbuhl, Germany 1985

Fighters fly above Old Germany,
Shaking all the buildings as they pass.
An older woman walking with a cane,
Raises it and shakes it at the sky.

Following the path around the wall,
Above us birds are singin' in the trees.
The fighters turn and make another pass,
I raise my head and cry into the sky,
"All we're wanting is the noise to stop for a moment or two."

And all this music that I've made,
With the notes that I have played.
And all the words that I have said,
Just makin' noise in someone's head,
"All we're wanting is the noise to stop for a moment or two."
Track Name: Mere Breath
Mere Breath
By Jeff Johnson

"Surely every man at his best is a mere breath."
– Psalm 39:56

In memory of Galileo Galilei (1564 - 1642)
Track Name: Time Waits For You
Time Waits For You
By Jeff Johnson
Inspired by the cathedral clock in Strasbourg, France

Time waits for you just around the bend,
I've seen him there.
What will you say when you see his face?
You'll see his face.

Some people say Time will be your friend,
Others will swear that he'll be your end.
It only matters if he will let you pass,
Will he let you pass?

Earth, like a clock, moves around the Sun,
Man, like the hands, move across its face,
Treading a path from day to day,
Infant to young man to old man.

Some people say Time will be your friend,
Others will swear that he'll be your end.
It only matters if he will let you pass,
Will he let you pass?
Track Name: Wind And Water
Wind And Water
By Jeff Johnson

" . . . and Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water . . . But seeing the wind he became afraid, and beginning to sink, he cried out, "Lord save me!" – Matthew 14:29b - 30

When I am older perhaps I'll understand,
Complacent faces in a spoiled land.
When I am older,
When I am older.

Outside the wind blows through the rusty chimes,
Like revelation blowing though my mind.
The more I listen, the more I understand,
That like the windchimes, I'm blowing in this wind.
The more I listen, the more I dangle ...

Walking across the surface,
Feeling the wind and water,
Dangling, I'm dangling.

Out from the dark around me,
Someone is reaching to me,
Save me,
Please, save me.

I am dangling in this wind.
Track Name: Monet's Failing Eyes
Monet's Failing Eyes
By Jeff Johnson

The French painter, Claude Monet (1840 - 1926) at age 82 was forced to go through with a delicate cataract operation. In his subsequent reapprenticeship, he painted what he saw – an agglomeration of color, which would later be a source of inspiration to many abstract painters.

Looking at a window one can sometimes see his face,
But when he looks beyond it, he can see another place.
Similarly what we see can change in many things,
Visions such as these occur in many, many things.

Focus on an object that is placed in the foreground,
Yet the vision changes as you glance to the background.
There's a million things that I have never ever seen,
In the million places of this world that I have been.

Like out of focus paintings in Monet's failing eyes –
How I wonder if I'll ever know what they all mean,
All these visions in my life that I have ever seen.

When I was much younger all these pictures seemed so clear,
But with age the lines have faded causing me to fear.
What is true and what is not are often dressed the same,
Angels and their counterparts both play within this game.

Tell me wise man do you really understand my plight?
Is there anything that you could say to shed some light?
Somehow I can sense that things are different today,
What I am and what I will be hinges on this day.

Like out of focus paintings in Monet's failing eyes –
How I wonder if I'll ever know what they all mean,
All these visions in my life that I have ever seen.
Track Name: Fallen Splendor
Fallen Splendor
By Jeff Johnson
Track Name: Receive Your Sight
"Receive Your Sight"
By Jeff Johnson

" 'What do you want me to do for you?' And he said, 'Lord, I want to receive my sight!' " – Luke 18:41
Track Name: Sacrament (I Will Not Forget You)
Sacrament (I Will Not Forget You)

"How can we sing the Lord's song in a foreign land?
If I forget you, O Jerusalem,
May my right hand forget her skill,
May my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth,
If I do not remember you." – Psalm 137:4 - 6a

So hold me,
Hold me,
Hold me until I'm warm.

Guide me,
Guide me,
Guide me beyond this storm.

I will not forget you,
I will not forget you,
If I can remember this song.
Track Name: Poem
Poem
By Jeff Johnson
Words by Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni (1475 - 1564)

Down from the loftiest star a splendor falls to the Earth,
And draws desire from afar to that which gave it birth.
So love and heavenly fire and counsel wise,
The noble heart finds most in starlike eyes.